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Expats not living the typical expat life?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 Jun 2016 3:26 pm

Parents on works permits are not allowed to have dependents here in Singapore, so in that respect, no, the kids are not allowed to attend school here as they are not allowed DPs. In fact spouses are not allowed to accompany WP holders either. However, if the spouse can also gain a work permit then both can be here. This can pose a problem though as if there is a kid involved, due to the restrictions imposed on WP holders and dependents, the child would Not be able to come to Singapore. There was a case of that here on this forum just a week or two ago.

If they can get into a local school (finding an opening is the problem) it's also going to cost them between$6,600~$13,800/year as there would be no subsidies for the Foreign Student.
http://www.todayonline.com/daily-focus/ ... reans-2016

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby Hidy Ho » Wed, 08 Jun 2016 3:58 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Parents on works permits are not allowed to have dependents here in Singapore, so in that respect, no, the kids are not allowed to attend school here as they are not allowed DPs. In fact spouses are not allowed to accompany WP holders either. However, if the spouse can also gain a work permit then both can be here. This can pose a problem though as if there is a kid involved, due to the restrictions imposed on WP holders and dependents, the child would Not be able to come to Singapore. There was a case of that here on this forum just a week or two ago.

If they can get into a local school (finding an opening is the problem) it's also going to cost them between$6,600~$13,800/year as there would be no subsidies for the Foreign Student.
http://www.todayonline.com/daily-focus/ ... reans-2016


I see your tactic.

You are trying to bait me with my generic use of word "work permit" by providing MoM's "Work Permit for foreign worker" qualification which provides vastly different eligibility for a family than Employment Pass. This despite the fact that I've stated that I'm mid-mgmt for a large MNC. OK, I meant MF "work visa". Is that better?

Whatever floats your boat, man.

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby RoastBeefBaron » Wed, 08 Jun 2016 5:46 pm

Hidy Ho wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Parents on works permits are not allowed to have dependents here in Singapore, so in that respect, no, the kids are not allowed to attend school here as they are not allowed DPs. In fact spouses are not allowed to accompany WP holders either. However, if the spouse can also gain a work permit then both can be here. This can pose a problem though as if there is a kid involved, due to the restrictions imposed on WP holders and dependents, the child would Not be able to come to Singapore. There was a case of that here on this forum just a week or two ago.

If they can get into a local school (finding an opening is the problem) it's also going to cost them between$6,600~$13,800/year as there would be no subsidies for the Foreign Student.
http://www.todayonline.com/daily-focus/ ... reans-2016


I see your tactic.

You are trying to bait me with my generic use of word "work permit" by providing MoM's "Work Permit for foreign worker" qualification which provides vastly different eligibility for a family than Employment Pass. This despite the fact that I've stated that I'm mid-mgmt for a large MNC. OK, I meant MF "work visa". Is that better?

Whatever floats your boat, man.

Whoa. His answer matched your question about kids with parents who are on work permits. I don't feel he was trying to have a go at you.


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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 Jun 2016 6:03 pm

Hidy Ho. I'm an HR Manager, I work with WP, S Passes & EP/PEPs day in and day out. Nobody is trying to bait you. You asked about work permits not employment passes, or the more "generic" work visas (which would be ambiguous and would need more information before I could answer. I answered you question. I don't need to bait anybody. Work Permit, here in Singapore is NOT a generic term. It's a very specific term.

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Re: RE: Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby Wd40 » Wed, 08 Jun 2016 6:59 pm

Hidy Ho wrote:I wonder if old "expat package" is a NORM around here. My guess is not.

I'm mid-level mgmt at a large MNC and when I came out here, it was under local hire scenario. I was paid one time allowance for the move and the company take care of my work permit but my everything else is based on prevailing local market for my position which was and is a lot less than northern California wages. I know others came out here (for same company) under similar "local package" situation and only top level people (hand full) are here under compensated "expat package" with housing and other allowances.

I also know a guy with a family (came out after me) who went back to USA ... I think it was primarily due to kids' education cost that he didn't consider when moving out here. I'm a family of "me, myself and I" so I have way more flexibility.

Is it true that people on work permits can't send the kids to gov school and have to rely on private school ($$$$)? I thought I read this here in this forum. If so I guess that's like 10K per kid per year to budget for?

I think 10k per kid per year is very low for private schools. Indian Intl schools are the cheapest of the lot and even they start at 1k per month+ school bus fees.

I think the norm for Intl school fees is like 3k a month per child.

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby BBCWatcher » Wed, 08 Jun 2016 11:24 pm

School placement is not guaranteed, foreign students are lowest in placement priority, and foreign students pay substantial school fees even if there are places (although less than private schools). It's certainly not like California's public school systems.

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby aaakker » Mon, 04 Jul 2016 3:32 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:You really wouldn't want to know the buggers who would look down their noses at you because your expat "package" isn't as big as some. Here are a few realities:

a) Packages and benefits have been reduced through the years that I have been in contact with Singapore. It's not exactly a hardship posting, so you'll find that there are lots of people in similar straits.

b) Expats come in all flavors and nationalities. Just because a senior VP at a EU based company gets a big package doesn't mean that is true for many others.

c) I've known many expats and locals... some of whom who made a lot more than I did, some who made a lot less. I've never seen it as an issue. For the few snooty buggerst that would make it an issue there are lots of additional reasons I wouldn't want to know them anyway.

I've known guys who got a S$16,000 per month house as part of the package, and a guy all in at S$8,000 in total. The guy with the big house throws great parties with free booze as part of the deal, the other fellow makes a mean BBQ and we all bring the beer. It is what it is.
.


I Agree fully with points "A" and "B". The Expat you see in movies and read about in books is slowly dying out. Also an Expat from France tends to be different from an Expat from America or Germany. Expats are not being paid as much as they used to and there are fewer Expats now than 10 years ago. What is becoming more common is “Western” foreigners coming here to work under a local contract. I’m one of those.

As for point “C” the amounts quoted are higher than what many other Europeans I know are making (less than 8000 a month). I for one might be from Europe, but I interact more with local Singaporeans than with “Expats”. Many classic Expats simply make much more than I do (other standard of living, expenses and communities and most I know work in the banking sector) and many stay in the classic Expat communities. Yes, there still is a "classic"/rich Expat community. But it is shrinking fast and becoming very different than it was 10/20 years ago.

I made a conscious choice not to limit myself to the expat community. So the Expats I hang out with most are those that balance the two worlds (Singapore and “the country/region of origine”). In my case that is mostly French (there are an incredible number of French people in Singapore, but I'm not French) and people from India.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:mrst3030, I have to ask. Have you ever been an expat before? Do you
Most expats today live a non-luxurious "typical" expat life. You need to change your perception or you are going to be very unhappy.


I mostly agree with this. However there are still those "High earning Expats" with great Expat packages. And they do earn a lot compared to many others. Especially in the banking sector.

But if you expect everybody to be like Expats in the movies/books and you mirror yourself to that, than you might be unhappy.

bgd wrote:Singapore is really what you make of it. If you are adventurous, outgoing and willing to embrace other cultures then you will be fine and find the place rewarding. If you limit yourself just to expat circles then you may find it more challenging, or it may be great. It's really up to you.

Just don't worry about the relative wealth thing. In my experience it doesn't feature for all but a very few. Just avoid those few.


I agree completely. Like everywhere else in the world: you choose your own friends and decide yourself who to hang out with. If you just want to limit your interaction to other "Westeners" this can be done and you will find there are those earning a lot more than you or less than you. Or you mingle with local Singaporeans/ people from other cultures who might earn more or less than you. Just find the people you like to interact. They might be Expats or they might not.


The only thing I can say is, is that you would limit yourself too much if you stay in the classic "Expat scene". This scene is shrinking and consisting mostly of somewhat older people (from a time that the Expat scene was more like you know it from books/films). The Expat scene and "the locals" (sounds derogatory, but is not meant to: simply to distinguish between the two) is no longer so clear cut. I know many "Westerners" that interact more with Singaporeans than other Expats. The two are no longer separate worlds (if they ever were).

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby the lynx » Mon, 04 Jul 2016 4:27 pm

A lot of good stuff has been said by our lovely "expat" regulars above so I do not need to say more :mrgreen:

To answer directly to OP, no you won't be an outcast. Plenty of us here like you and there are plenty more who live a more luxurious life (with all the whistles and blings), and plenty more who live a much humbler lifestyle (share a HDB with 8 other people and eat plain white rice). You'll meet many nice people but you have to weed through the not-so-nice ones. But I agree, once you form good friendships, they're worth your time.

Welcome to Singapore, where cheap living is still possible when you have low expectations!

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby The Ref » Mon, 04 Jul 2016 4:34 pm

Barnsley wrote:I can come and pretend to be your butler on weekends if that helps? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


If I had a butler I expect he would be named Barnsley, so you are half way there :P

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby ElBuitre » Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:29 am

As many other people already pointed out, the “typical” expat figure is slowly disappearing, and many many many people are not coming anymore with the packages they used to have.

I moved recently to Singapore and I can tell you that even in my company (American IT MNC) no-one is being relocated with incredible packages or allowances.
On average, they do not even pay relocation packages.

I am one of those expats who is here without an “expat contract/package”.
I moved here with a local Singaporean contract. No additional annual leave, no additional money, no housing or transportation allowance.
Despite that, I have a fairly decent life.

I live alone in a small (and quite economical to be fair) 2 bedroom condo, I take cabs anytime is needed, I can go to proper restaurant/bar/clubs once or twice a week, I can spend a couple of hundred bucks in shopping, I have a part time maid who comes for a few hours a month to clean and iron, and I can also put aside a couple of thousands SGD.
In all of these, I can also budget 5-6.000SGD for a few weekends/holidays a year.

All of the above is done with a salary which is below 10.000SGD - And honestly I do not feel I am missing much from people who earn 20.000SGD+.
If I would get more, probably I would get a flat closer to CBD (now I am based in the far East!) and most probably I would spend more money in shopping/dining out, but simple as that.

I do not feel quite oppressed - I do understand that a family has different needs tho.

But if you are in a good position to comfortably pay a rent, a few holidays and the school of your kids, I would not see you in a bad position: of course it depends on the type of life you want to conduct.

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby mortlock2005 » Thu, 04 Aug 2016 7:18 pm

I met lots of snobby expats when I first arrived. I could feel them looking down their nose at me with my tiny condo in Bishan, no car, and husband on local package. I just kept looking and after a while I met great people. I agree that the days of the flashy expat packages with house, car, club membership etc at well and truly over for most of us. I have to say that moving to the East Coast was the best thing we ever did. It got us far away from Holland Village/expat central, and amongst great people - locals and foreigners.

By the way Hidy Ho, if you have to pay for International School, you need to budget a hell of a lot more than $10k per kid per year!! Those school fee invoices HURT.

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby NZinSG » Fri, 12 Aug 2016 6:05 pm

I'm in a similar situation to your husband - I followed my wife here and we have a newborn son. I've been a stay at home dad since his birth, and prior to that a job seeker.

I'll mirror what others have said about isolation and you being the outlet for conversation/interaction with the world until he finds an outlet or friends here.

One thing no one else touched on, if he has been working consistently for his adult life and not struggled for money or at least could splurge $50+ without batting an eye, then now relying on only your source of income might make him hesitant to go out or it will cause stresses as money will be tighter (than usual for him, and you two).

Just something to be mindful of.

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby beppi » Tue, 16 Aug 2016 9:03 pm

As far as I know, the term "Expat" describes people who live and work away from their homeland.
Don't forget the large number of third world citizens working in Singapore on WP as construction workers, household helpers, machine operators, etc. They all earn far less than the average local, usually below S$2000/month.
Whoever uses the word "Expat" meaning just the stereotypical full-package, money-stuffed type (a small minority and on the wane - rightfully so, in my opinion) is just myopic!

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 16 Aug 2016 9:17 pm

Hey stranger! It's been a year! And you are spot on. That's always been my contention as well regarding "Expats". Sadly, I'm no longer an expat as I been here far too long and a PR for a quarter of a century! lol

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Re: Expats not living the typical expat life?

Postby beppi » Tue, 16 Aug 2016 10:00 pm

Yeah, it's been quite a while!
The birth of our son (who is male and thus not SG citizen for the known reasons) made my long-term plans to return to the country one day next to impossible, thus I'm not a regular on the forum any more - I was just bored today and checked back for sentimental reasons!


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